If you’re afraid of losing your engineering team to better offers from other organizations, that’s actually good news. You should be! The first step to a strong retention policy is simple: recognizing that you need one. Your engineers (like all of your other employees) are trained, experienced professionals, and if you think you’re doing them a favor by allowing them the privilege of working for you, think again. Your team members always have other options, and even if they don’t seem aware of this, they’ll eventually figure it out. Your job is to keep them from exploring and pursuing those other options by making sure your workplace is appealing, your compensation is competitive, and your employees have access to every resource they need in order to excel at their jobs. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Listen to Everything They Say (or Write)
When your employees need something, they won’t necessarily march into your office and make a demand. But the message will come through somehow. Listen closely for hints. If your teams are struggling with company policies, parking and commuting issues, childcare problems, health insurance concerns, or issues tied to compensation and benefits, read between the lines. Try to provide what’s needed BEFORE they’re driven to insist.
If you want to keep your engineers, treat them with respect. And respect starts with fairness. Look around your office — do you see a diverse group of ethnicities, ages, and genders? If not, why not? Make sure you’re offering promotions and opportunities (and of course job offers) based on real merit, not entrenched habit or unconscious bias. The fastest way to lose an employee is simple – pass him or her over for a promotion in favor of someone less qualified. Then sit back and watch your competitors scoop her up.
Pay Attention to Growth Patterns
You see an engineer on your team who’s rapidly outgrowing the projects assigned to her, but you aren’t sure what to do about it. That’s fine…but you’ll need to figure something out before she reaches the limit of what you have to offer. Think in terms of a long-term staffing pipeline and find a role for her to advance into. If possible, do this well before she reaches the threshold.
For more on how to keep your engineering teams busy, happy, and under your own roof, contact the retention and management experts at Tech Needs.